Wednesday, August 08, 2012

School of Open Badges

Over the last couple of weeks a lot has happened with Open Badges and the Peer 2 Peer University. First off I was collaborating with Leah MacVie around what is the follow-on to the P2PU Open badges 101 course. And I was wanting to move my work of putting together a step-by-step into the P2PU as the platform for peer learning around badges. Leah had also done a bunch of great work in developing the first 101 course and had an outline for another... we were wondering how all this would fit together.

I was inspired by Leah's work so I drew on the outlines she had created, added my step-by-step guide outline into the mix and thought a lot about what would be a comprehensive Open Badges curriculum. I created a nine course curriculum and created really brief course descriptions and cane up with a course leveling (beginner, intermediate, expert, and master) approach and gave the courses numbers like 102, 103, 201, 202, etc... I took this work to the Open Badges Community Call to gather feedback. The feedback was outstanding and exemplary in relation to badge systems design, the two highlights were;
  1. Don't create a prescribed type journey (get away from beginner, intermediate, 101, 102, 201, etc...) each badge should stand on its own and the related learning should be scaffolded into the single badge challenge (or course). I commented on how difficult this would be as often learning requires previous learning. The feedback persisted and they community challenged me to put down the spoon and think way outside the box. So I did...
  2. Creating a nomenclature for naming the courses, but they really don't have to imply any kind of leveling or achievement, they are just names. This made sense to me and as I was reviewing my proposed nine courses I jokingly said... "like a flower with nine petals".
With this feedback I edited the table and leveraged the flower analogy to the point where I fit different parts of the flower into the matrix. And to a small extent I fit the part definitions into the course themes. all good.

A description of this matrix will be in a subsequent post.

To use the flower analogy even further I tried to create a graphic of a nine petal flower. Where each petal represented a course. What I ended up with was quite computer science like... but it worked. And fortunately, I was able to get assistance from Leah and she did her magic and turned what I had created into a beautiful flower. You can view the two versions here, and I'll let your guess who did which.

Version 1    Version 2

The most meaningful parts to all this are threefold; first, we ended up with a really nice looking curriculum design graphic; second, we determined the p2pu open badges course matrix; and third, we ended up with a working example for badge systems design.